|Boston (75-50) «||2||3||0||0||1||0||0||0||0||6||8||0|
|Tampa Bay (47-77)||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||4||0|
Wakefield continued his dominance over Tampa Bay, allowing four hits over seven innings as the Boston Red Sox blanked the Devil Rays 6-0 on Monday night.
"The ball seems to move a little more inside," Wakefield said. "I don't care to know why. I just know that it does."
Wakefield improved to 19-2 - including a 9-0 mark at Tropicana Field -- all-time against the Devil Rays. It's the most wins by any Tampa Bay opponent. Wakefield (15-10) struck out five and walked one, and moved into a tie for the major league lead in wins this season.
"It's like a wiffleball," Tampa Bay left fielder Carl Crawford said. "He knows what he's doing with it. If I move up, I noticed he throws a different kind of pitch. When I moved back, he threw a certain kind of way. He ain't just throwing down the middle."
Wakefield has a decision in all of his 25 starts, the first to reach that number since Jack McDowell posted decisions in his first 27 starts with the Chicago White Sox in 1993.
"He's tough to hit, especially when he's on because he throws you those pitches and you don't know where they're going," Red Sox shortstop and former Devil Ray Julio Lugo said. "You think they're going to go for a ball and they go for a strike."
Wakefield has not allowed a run in 15 consecutive innings. He has also blanked Tampa Bay 19 innings in a row.
"Right now I don't have any solid answers," Devil Rays manager Joe Maddon said. "He's throwing strikes with it and it's moving. Bad combination for us."
Wakefield did experience back tightness after the fifth, but doesn't believe it will be a problem.
"It's not going to be bad," Wakefield said. "It happened last time I was here too. I don't know if it's being on this mound, the bed at the hotel."
The Devil Rays lost for the sixth time in eight games and fell to 47-77, two games worse than they were at this time last year.
Boston designated hitter David Ortiz sat out. Red Sox manager Terry Francona is looking to give his regulars a day off, and the fact Ortiz is hitting .147 (5-for-34, one homer) against Tampa Bay left-hander Scott Kazmir was one factor in the decision.
"With David, it made more sense today," Francona said. "We're trying to piece it together where you don't go too far with a player and get him a day off."
Ramirez replaced Ortiz as the DH. Francona said Ramirez, the regular left fielder, might get Wednesday's game off.
Lowell put the Red Sox up 2-0 on a two-run double in the first. His solo homer off Kazmir (9-8) extended the Boston lead to 6-0 in the fifth. The blast ended Kazmir's stretch of not allowing a homer in nine straight starts.
Dustin Pedroia drove in a run with a single and Ramirez hit a two-run single to make it 5-0 in the second. Ramirez had just five hits in 37 at-bats against Kazmir before his hit during the second.
Kazmir gave up six runs and seven hits in 5 2/3 innings. He entered with a 13-inning scoreless steak and had allowed just one run in 25 innings over his previous four starts.
"I just have to let this one go," Kazmir said. "It's frustrating losing all the time."
|Tim Wakefield throws seven shutout innings to improve his career mark to 9-0 at Tropicana Field. (AP)|
|Players of the Game|
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|Boston Red Sox|
|Dustin Pedroia, 2B||4||2||2||1||1||0||0||.325|
|Kevin Youkilis, 1B||4||0||1||0||1||1||1||.290|
|Bobby Kielty, LF||5||1||0||0||0||1||4||.209|
|Manny Ramirez, DH||4||0||1||2||0||2||2||.290|
|Mike Lowell, 3B||2||1||2||3||2||0||0||.314|
|J.D. Drew, RF||4||0||0||0||0||2||5||.262|
|Coco Crisp, CF||4||1||2||0||0||1||0||.273|
|Julio Lugo, SS||4||0||0||0||0||0||2||.239|
|Kevin Cash, C||3||1||0||0||1||2||1||.000|
|2B - Mike Lowell (31, Kazmir), Coco Crisp (21, Kazmir)|
|HR - Mike Lowell (17, Kazmir)|
|RBI - Dustin Pedroia (38), Manny Ramirez 2 (84), Mike Lowell 3 (85)|
|2-OUT RBI - Manny Ramirez 2 (33), Mike Lowell 2 (35)|
|Team LOB - 6|
|DP - Youkilis|
|PB - Kevin Cash (1)|
|Boston Red Sox|
|Tim Wakefield (W,15-10)||7||4||0||0||1||5||0||4.35|
|Pitches-Strikes - Tim Wakefield 77-56, Manny Delcarmen 13-7, Mike Timlin 6-5|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Tim Wakefield 5-9, Manny Delcarmen 1-1, Mike Timlin 1-1|
|Batters Faced - Tim Wakefield 24, Manny Delcarmen 3, Mike Timlin 3|
|Tampa Bay Devil Rays|
|Akinori Iwamura, 3B||3||0||0||0||1||1||1||.282|
|Carl Crawford, LF||4||0||0||0||0||1||1||.312|
|B.J. Upton, CF||4||0||1||0||0||0||1||.311|
|Carlos Pena, 1B||3||0||1||0||0||0||2||.266|
|Delmon Young, RF||3||0||0||0||0||2||1||.288|
|Brendan Harris, 2B||3||0||0||0||0||0||0||.293|
|Jonny Gomes, DH||3||0||0||0||0||1||0||.257|
|Josh Wilson, SS||3||0||1||0||0||1||0||.238|
|Josh Paul, C||3||0||1||0||0||1||1||.190|
|SB - Akinori Iwamura (10, 2nd base off Wakefield/Cash), Josh Wilson (4, 2nd base off Wakefield/Cash)|
|CS - B.J. Upton (7, 2nd base by Wakefield/Cash)|
|Team LOB - 3|
|DP - Wilson-Harris-Pena|
|Tampa Bay Devil Rays|
|Scott Kazmir (L,9-8)||5.2||7||6||6||4||8||1||3.65|
|IBB - Lowell by Scott Kazmir|
|WP - Scott Kazmir (7)|
|Pitches-Strikes - Scott Kazmir 108-64, Juan Salas 26-14, Jon Switzer 20-16|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Scott Kazmir 5-4, Jon Switzer 2-3|
|Batters Faced - Scott Kazmir 28, Juan Salas 5, Jon Switzer 6|
|Attendance - 16843|
|Game Time - 2:26|
|Temperature - 72|
|Umpires - Home - Adrian Johnson, First Base - Laz Diaz, Second Base - John Hirschbeck, Third Base - Wally Bell|